Chocolate-Ginger Fudge Shortbread Cookies

From my new book, Sassy Cookies.
Chocolate-ginger fudge is layered over a thin buttery shortbread cookie. Cut cookies into 1-inch squares, because a small piece will easily satisfy a sweet tooth.

Chocolate-Ginger Fudge Shortbread Cookies
Makes 60 to 72 cookies
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon water
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
Topping:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
6 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons Lyle’s Golden Syrup (or substitute light corn syrup)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger

Preheat oven to 350F. Line the sides and bottom of a 8- x 8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang of about 2 inches on each of two opposite sides. Cut parchment paper to fit bottom of pan, and place on foil. Lightly butter bottom and sides. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk in brown sugar. With a pastry cutter, cut in butter until dough resembles coarse meal. Add water and egg yolk. With a fork, blend until combined. Spread the dough in a thin layer, evenly across the bottom of the pan. Smooth top. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until golden. Pierce crust, if it bubbles.

Prepare topping: 2 to 3 minutes before shortbread is done, melt butter in a small saucepan and stir in chocolate, golden syrup, powdered sugar, ground ginger, and vanilla until smooth. Fold in crystallized ginger.

Remove shortbread from oven. While still warm, spread topping over crust. Smooth top. Cool completely in the pan. Using foil overhang as an aid, lift uncut cookies out of pan, and cut into 1-inch squares.

Store in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to 5 days.

Baker’s Note: For an extra kick, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of crystalized ginger onto warm topping, and press lightly to adhere.